Aduana Stars unbeaten home record in Caf inter-club competition came under threat but was finally preserved after sharing the spoils 3-3 with Raja Casablanca in Caf Confederation Cup Group A fixture on Wednesday at Nana Agyemang Badu I Park in Dormaa Ahenkro.
The hosts’ coach Yussif Abubakar made two changes to his starting XI that lost to Asec Mimosas a fortnight ago, bringing in Congolese international Oba Ikama Ulitch and Bright Agyei for Zakaria Mumuni and Yahaya Mohammed respectively.
After a slow start, Aduana was made to pay for their lackadaisical approach at the back by the 11th minute, when Mahmoud Benhalib gave Raja the opening goal with a clean finish, after beating the offside trap.
The hosts had time to regroup after the setback and began to cause troubles for Raja. It nearly paid off by the 14th minute after Sam Adams was played through by Noah Martey but the midfielder fluffed the opportunity.
However, Ikama Ulitch brought Aduana level on 21st minute following a goal-mouth melee. Caleb Amankwa’s cross was blocked by Raja’s defence but Ulitch fired home from the box.
Another sluggish defending by Aduana’s back-four allowed Chikito Lema Mabidi to restore Raja’s lead by the 39th minute.
Aduana continues to pressurised Raja and came close to pulling level by the 47th through Derrick Sasraku but his effort was saved by Raja goalkeeper Zniti Anas.
Finally, there was an opening for the hosts to make it 2-2 through Caleb Amankwah by the 49th minute. The defender, who joined from Wafa this season, rose above his marker to head in corner-kick.
Six minutes later, Derrick Sasraku had a glorious chance to send Aduana into the lead for the first time in the game but the striker saw his effort hitting the goalpost, with Adams wasting the rebound.
By the 61 minute, Raja took the lead once more against the run of play through Benhalib and he could’ve achieved a hat-trick eight minutes later after he latched onto a loose ball in Aduana’s box but his shot hit the side net.
Nathaniel Asamoah had a golden opportunity on the 86th minute to fetch the equaliser for Aduana after he was teed off by Amankwa but instead of going for power, he decided to round up goalkeeper Anas and the visitors recovered to clear their lines.
With the time winding down, a section of the home supporters opted to take an early exit in disappointment but Aduana players showed great resolve to push for an equaliser. Nat Asamoah atoned in the 92nd minute for his earlier misses with a stunning half-volley from the edge of the area to send the ‘die-hard’ supporters into wild jubilation.
Although the hosts pushed men forward for the winner, it was too little too late as Raja held on to pick their second point in the competition.